Can Watching 'The Bachelor' Make You Dumber? Brain Scan Finds Out the Truth

Playing What Your Brain Goes Through While Watching ‘The Bachelor’

This is your brain on The Bachelor.

To find out the effects of the popular reality TV dating show on her head, Washington Post reporter Hannah Jewell got hooked up to an MRI at Indiana University in February.

Monday night’s finale of The Bachelor with Arie Luyendyk Jr. was nothing short of dramatic. 

Researchers told Jewell watching scenes of Arie during the MRI elicited so little activity in her brain that she "may as well have been asleep."

While watching previous contestant Krystal Nielson, the area of her brain associated with drug addiction and craving lit up. So while Jewell felt like she didn’t like the contestant, she may have liked her more than she cared to admit.

“If Krystal wasn’t making me dumb, she was at least sending me on an emotional spiral,” Jewell wrote of her experience.

And it’s understandable why the show would evoke such emotion, as Monday night's episode was filled with twists.

After proposing to finalist Becca Kufrin, Luyendyk had a change of heart. He then dumped Becca on-camera and let her know it’s because he’s still in love with the other finalist, Lauren Burnham.

“The more I hung out with you, the more I felt like I was losing the possibility of reconciling things with Lauren,” he said during the tense moment on Monday night’s episode.

The show made the controversial decision to broadcast the raw, unedited footage of the break-up with two cameras simultaneously. 

The public backlash toward Luyendyk's decision was swift and ruthless.

"This is just cruel, shame on you" one Twitter user wrote. 

Former Bachelorette Trista Sutter also expressed outrage at the move.

"This. Is. Brutal. I get it. It's a TV show. But why must you make the soon-to-be-broken-hearted vocalize just how in love they are full well knowing just how much those very words are going to slap them in the face,” Sutter wrote on Twitter.

But this isn’t the first time something cringe-worthy has happened on the show. Former Bachelor Jason Mesnick broke up with the winner, his then fiancé Melissa Rycroft, on live television.

And just minutes later, he turned around and asked runner-up Molly Malaney for a second chance.

Mesnick and Malaney have now been married for eight years and have a daughter. 

On Tuesday night, viewers will find out if Arie will be as lucky with Lauren.

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